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Newbie Question

Mister Bow Willow
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I've seen geocachers with one or two finds placing new caches. It seems to me that you should have a bit more experience caching in order to create an effective cache.


Why are there no rules or regs in the guideline concerning experience?


Also, how many finds, in your opinion are "enough".


Inquiring minds would like to know.

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As a cache reviewer I get the willies when I see a greenhorn cacher submit a hide.


IMO - 20+ cache finds of various types and difficulties will give you a good idea of what the game is about. You'll see various containers "in the wild", so to speak. Some resist the elements, most don't.


The other thing about waiting a little while for your first hide is to see if you're going to stick with the game. Many cachers find a few caches, hide a couple, then drift away - leaving their cache to rot.

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Why are there no rules or regs in the guideline concerning experience?

There are two reasons that I can think of right now:

1) This site is set up with a minimum of rules and most seem to prefer it that way. I know I do.

2) It's hard to know how much experience is enough. 9key's answer of 20+ finds of various kinds is good. But there are some hiders out there with more hides than finds and do very well. There are also some cachers with hundreds of finds and some of their hides are, shall we say, substandard?

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If I knew then what I know now, my only cache would probably be worse. Innovation often comes from those people who aren't used to the same old same old. I was fresh enough to do something a little different and eager enough to put in the extra effort. I might not do that now.

Edited by bons
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i have seen newbies hide excellent caches.


i have seen experienced cachers hide crappy caches.


if you have a good grasp of the concept and some understanding of accepted practice, you cannot hide too early.


if you don't really get it, you should probably wait until you've found a few thousand.

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I think reading the posts on the various boards helps a lot. I hid my first after only 12 finds, but had read so many posts about what's good and what's not, I feel it was (and is) a good hide. The boards contain a lot of good, solid advice on everything from: Type of container, how to camouflage it, why black plastic bags ARE NOT good, including a FTF or not, what makes up great contents for a cache; to: How and where to hide it. I am sure the more I cache, the better I'll get with my hides, but I have to say many of my hides are more thought out than some I have found from cachers much older (not AGE wise....caching time wise) and wiser than myself. My best advice is read and research as much as you can, then make your cache something special that people will remember and talk about.

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Well, I only have two finds but I've been lurking for almost a year around the forums and what not.


I've done a lot of research and am curently putting together my first two caches but won't be placing them until I knock off a few more caches.


But I'd say if how YOU want to get involved and enjoy this hobby is to put together a cache, go for it.


Do some reading, make sure you know the rules and you can only do your best :D

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As a new cacher I want to get a good number under my belt before I place a cache of my own. I have found lots of caches in my local parks and I probably would have ended up putting one right next to an existing one. I also just want to get some experience on how others hide theirs and how to work them into the Geocaching site.

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I placed my first cache after only one find and to this day I think its among my best. The only thing I've learned since was that I didn't have to put so much thought into the location, container and contents.


As Flask said, there are veteran geocachers who hide lousy caches and newbies who hide great ones. Newbies tend to copy what they've seen. If they find a bunch of lame micros, their first is likely to be a lame micro. If they find most caches wrapped in garbage bags, they're likely to do the same. If they find most caches to be in ammo boxes, in interesting areas they are likely to emulate those for their first cache. This being said, it's probably a good idea to find a few, hopefully of a variety of types, before hiding your first. But an imaginative newbie hiding a cache will do so without the influence of other geocachers and that could be a good thing.

Edited by briansnat
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When I started the suggested number of finds before placing was a dozen.


That's about what I had. It NEVER hurts to wait. It can only improve things.


That said, many of the first hides by new cachers around here either don't last or they end up replacing--others who have waited place really, really good caches.


However--I hunt them all! One of the advantages of trying to FTF is you get to do lame cache before they die...






PS: Unlike BrianSnat, my first hide was my lamest, despite lots of planning and attention to details.

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I agree with BrianSnat.I have done only a few finds as of now.but I have been planning to put out a chalenging chache in the near future.

I am near retirement,and I don't know how many years I can still wander the outdoors alone, so maybe for me in the future it will be creating caches more than seeking them.

some folks might not be physicaly up to that much hunting,but will still enjoy dreaming up a good cache to place.


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I think hiding caches is definitely something worth waiting for, but its really difficult because peple seem to get bit hard by the "bug". The enthusiasm gets overwhelming - at least it did for me. I placed my first cache at around 20 finds, but in retrospect those early finds weren't very diverse. My next 20 became more difficult and I had a very different idea of what separated a good cache from "one of the masses."


Make sure that you have tackled a few caches in each difficulty range... When you check out the cache rating guidelines one of them says "An average geocacher can find this with 30 minutes of searching". I think its important that you know what an average geocacher can do, vs. only what you have experienced.


The final point I think is relevant to "when are you ready to hide?" is sort of zen-like. I've found a few caches which were not just an ammo box under a pile of wood, but were very well thought out, and concealed. In fact, many of the best caches are in plain sight, but take a trained eye to discern. I like to think of them as being in harmony with their surroundings. When you've had one or two of those finds, you really appreciate the thought that went into it. Be creative, and try to hide something worth finding! Think of your most memorable caches and what made them that way - try to emulate those strengths in your own expression and you'll be certain to get favorable logs.


Cache on!

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